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From Glen Ezkovich <>
Subject Re: [RT] do me a favor, don't call them taglibs
Date Sun, 05 Dec 2004 08:21:37 GMT

On Dec 4, 2004, at 10:52 PM, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Glen,
> I don't think we are talking about very different things.

I know.

> I *completely* agree with you that the power of pipelines and SoC is 
> exactly that: change one file and make all the others adjust. Damn, 
> there wouldn't be a cocoon if that wasn't the case ;-)
> What I want is to create a 'bridge' for those who don't get it.

To some extent. I want something simpler then XSLT and is more markup 
oriented (an XHTML template). I'd also like to not ask my designers to 
invoke java methods.

> CSS is already a tremendous bridge that allows people to cleanup their 
> pages and they understand the power of SoC, since changing a 
> stylesheet allows them to change all the pages.
> Still, CSS is not enough because is not able to change the layout of 
> things

It can change the layout of things with absolute positioning. Its just 
very difficult to get things right. and it becomes a night mare to make 
changes to.

> and, even worse, sometimes the style dictates the markup (example: if 
> you want to use stuff like rounded boxes).

Need to talk to your designers then ;-)

> *but* what is possible is to have something like
> <div class="header">Header</div>
> be transformed into a massive, highly graphical, header.
> In short, it is possible to give *some* visual but style free 
> placeholding material for the layout designers to work with, then 
> transform these with some XSLT.

What we have is something slightly different, we have <header> tags. 
These get transformed differently depending on context. Possibly with 
different classes.

> What you need is not WYSIWYG,

I wish there was such a tool. :-)

> web designers care about that, but usability managers really don't. 
> They care about colors and fonts and spaces and positioning and error 
> messages and visibility of things (all things that CSS can do for 
> them), so it's entirely possible to have placeholders for things they 
> don't care about, they just want to care about the content, but also 
> about  the layout of the page.

Agreed. However, our place holders represent entities, not page 
elements. Things such as products, images or headings. We use XSLT to 
transform them into html. Right now I go so far as to insist that we do 
not use html tag names for our entity names. i.e. you can't use <img> 
you need to use <image> . I know its anal, but I really want to 
emphasize the difference between content and layout. We are not always 
successful but we are working on it.

Glen Ezkovich
HardBop Consulting
glen at

A Proverb for Paranoids:
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to 
worry about answers."
- Thomas Pynchon Gravity's Rainbow

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